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Raiders draft pass rusher Clelin Ferrell at No. 4 overall — VIDEO

Updated April 25, 2019 - 11:04 pm

ALAMEDA, Calif. — The Raiders opened arguably the most significant draft in franchise history with a surprise Thursday, selecting former Clemson defensive end Clelin Ferrell with the No. 4 overall pick.

The team has an NFL-high three first-round picks.

It’s scheduled to choose at Nos. 24 and 27 as well.

Draft analysts projected Ferrell to go somewhere in the middle of the first round, but he was highly productive in college and is considered to have strong character off the field. The two-time All-American recorded 55 tackles, including 20 for a loss, with 11 1/2 sacks in 2018. He’ll pair with Arden Key, a 2018 third-round pick, at edge rusher in the coming years.

There is a notable connection between Ferrell and the Raiders.

He ranked fourth in Clemson history with 27 career sacks. Brentson Buckner, the Raiders’ new defensive line coach, had 22 for the Tigers.

Clelin Ferrell

Position: Defensive end

College: Clemson

Size: 6 feet, 4 inches; 264 pounds

2018 stats: 55 tackles, 20 for loss, 11 1/2 sacks

In his words: “I would be lying to you if I said I wasn’t surprised (at being picked so early). I know that this is a really long process for me. I don’t pay attention to the mock drafts; those things are stupid. Through talks with my agent, we really didn’t know what to expect going in.”

Contact reporter Michael Gehlken at mgehlken@reviewjournal.com. Follow @GehlkenNFL on Twitter.

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